Attitude towards the roles of women and marriage in poetry

Essay by maddiesmethamHigh School, 11th gradeB+, October 2014

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What is the poet's attitude to the role of women and to marriage?

In the poem 'A Women to her Lover', the attitudes expressed are very ahead of her time. It is written in confidence and with passion which highlights how strongly she wants to get her opinion across; she longs for equality with her partner, and thinks of herself as a 'wakened women of our time' because she won't conform to what society expects of her as she is aware of these types of relationships. In the first three stanzas she uses metaphors to show the women's outlook in an undesirable relationship.

For example, in the first stanza, she uses juxtaposition to describe how men thought of women as weak and were in charge of them by subverting the conventional metaphors of love when she writes 'conqueror to the vanquished'. This emphasises the expectations of love and relationships during the 18th century - in Romeo and Juliet this is further shown as the cause of Juliet's death is derived from her disobeying her father's orders and rebelling against society.

Walsh could also be described as rebellious during this time period as she continually uses direct address to her partner which would be completely unheard of.

The idea of 'worship' of women also a conventional motif in love poetry, but here it becomes feeble rather than romantic. In Act 1, Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo uses religious lexis to describe Juliet as a 'holy shrine' and a 'saint' which is what was expected of women. For them to be described in this way shows how they are seen pure and perfect in their lovers' eyes. Therefore, when Walsh writes 'I am no doll to dress and sit for feeble worship' she is saying that she doesn't see...